Hundreds of people turned out in court on Tuesday to support three young men charged with rioting and assaulting police during anti-government protests across Hong Kong.
Eastern Court heard the three cases stemmed from protests at New Town Plaza in Sha Tin on July 14, Hong Kong International Airport at Chek Lap Kok on August 13 and North Point last Sunday, September 15.
The two younger men, both students, were granted bail on condition they obey a curfew and stay away from the scenes of the alleged offences.
But Yip Man-leong, a 23-year-old technical worker accused of rioting and inflicting grievous bodily harm on police officer Wong Yiu-wa at the airport last month, was remanded in custody after the magistrate sided with prosecutors.
The three defendants were supported by a public gallery full of people, some of them wearing face masks, while hundreds more waited for news outside the small courtroom.
“Fight for freedom,” they chanted outside court with their palms raised in support of the protesters’ five demands. “Stand with Hong Kong.”
Chan Yi-chun, 19, who was arrested with 28 others in North Point on Sunday, has been charged with the assault of police officer Ma Chi-shing and possession of an offensive weapon in a public place, namely an extendable baton, outside Seven Seas Commercial Centre on Kings Road.
Another student, Lee Man-him, 16, was accused of taking part in an unlawful assembly at New Town Plaza, and wounding officer Cheung Lik-hang with intent to do him grievous bodily harm.
None of the defendants were required to enter a plea on their first court appearance before Principal Magistrate Bina Chainrai, pending further inquiries.
Their next hearings were scheduled for October 28 and 29.
Meanwhile at the District Court, a driver for the public broadcaster RTHK sued the commissioner of police for damages over injuries he allegedly sustained when hit in the head by a tear gas grenade launched by officers in Admiralty on June 12.
Lawyers for Chong Man-lung said he had sustained serious personal injuries as a result of being hit, despite wearing a reflective vest to indicate he was a member of the press.
They argued that police had committed negligence, breached their duty of care, the Hong Kong Bill of Rights, or all of the above, according to the writ filed on Monday.
The first hearing is scheduled for March 9 next year.